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Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Plural wives/Sarah Kingsley Howe Cleveland
Sarah Kingsley Howe Cleveland
Summary: There is considerable debate as to whether Sarah Kingsley was sealed to Joseph Smith.  Danel Bachman's pioneering study on plural marriage argued that there was "little supporting evidence for [her]…inclusion" on a list of Joseph's wives.  Todd Compton argues for Sarah's inclusion, since she is included on Andrew Jenson's list of plural wives, had a proxy marriage to Joseph Smith in the temple following the martyrdom, and because Eliza R. Snow is known to have been sealed to Joseph at Sarah's home. Compton holds—and I find his reasoning persuasive—that Joseph's decision to marry Eliza in front of Sarah makes little sense if Sarah had not already been introduced to plural marriage. (Though it must be admitted that Sarah could have been aware of plural marriage, but not practicing it.) Compton's argument is strengthened by the fact that Andrew Jenson also had access to Eliza R. Snow as a witness, so she could have confirmed Sarah's sealing.
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